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It’s time for the invasion.

Though… seems it’s me, willingly opening the gates.

One by one barriers and boundaries have dropped away. The deeper I dig, the less I have by way of protection.

That’s a good thing, I say, to no one but me.

Dangerous… fighting for my sanity half-naked. Perhaps…

Yet, how else to reclaim what’s mine? How else to eject a festering seeping pustule?

I see now how you’ve held me. With your naturally repugnant scent inducing fear at twenty paces. Hackle-raising, gut wrenching, agonising.

But it’s a trap.

A scary house of mirrors playing mind games so real… so real I can’t remember what it’s like ‘outside’.

Wisdom arrives and says: The constructs that protect me also keep me within the grasp of those I’m defending against.

One begets another, each making the other more real, more concrete, self-perpetuating…

And then I know the only answer there is: There’s no going back to how things were…

If it’s my happiness I want, the way isn’t back to a place where that pain never was.

That place, it doesn’t exist any more. If it ever did… there is only now.

And neither is it the way, just sitting where I am. Waiting. Hoping. Ignoring won’t work any longer. Can’t truly forget… and distractions never last.

I must walk through the center. Spot-lit and unlovely, not even ready for a fight. No defences.

Here I am, so I say. Come on, then

I’m learning your ways. Just a spectre here, not real. Your entry is via my waking nightmares… where you live again. Solidifying in my projections, gaining strength.

I’ve just remembered something though, standing here bereft of armour.

A lesson learned once, and now returned.

You can hurt me all you like but I won’t be giving in. There’s a point (perhaps I’m not there quite yet) at which vengeance loses impact.

So while I may look weaker, I’m prepared.

And I grow tired of this game…